The Red Sox hope Jeter Downs can be the guy to take over second base in the future, but the 22-year-old is likely to begin 2021 in Triple-A. He had just 12 games under his belt at the Double-A level before coronavirus canceled the 2020 season. In the meantime, Yairo Munoz and Christian Arroyo both could earn time at the keystone, but the Red Sox want that pair to earn their opportunities. Otherwise, Michael Chavis looks like the incumbent, despite being a natural corner infielder.
Hence, they’ve keyed in on second baseman in free agency, exploring deals with Enrique Hernandez, Kolten Wong, Cesar Hernandez, and Dee Strange-Gordon, though no deal appears imminent. Marwin Gonzalez could be an appealing option because of his versatility, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (Twitter links). Gonzalez has a history with Red Sox manager Alex Cora from their days in Houston, though that’s not a time period either side likely wants to highlight. Outside of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, however, the rest of the Boston infield is still auditioning for full-time reps, so they may prefer to add a versatile glove that can function in a number of potential roster iterations.
Elsewise, Boston continues to look for arms to add to the rotation mix. Garrett Richards and Matt Moore are two names they’ve looked into recently, per Cotillo. Richards will make sense on a lot of teams now that he appears fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. He posted a 4.03 ERA/4.28 FIP in 51 1/3 innings for the Padres in 2020, with 10 starts, a 21.6 percent strikeout rate, 8.0 percent walk rate, and 40.1 percent groundball rate.
Moore would be a more surprising candidate, having registered just 10 innings since 2019. The 31-year-old southpaw played in Japan last season, logging a 2.65 ERA across 85 innings.
Of course, Boston’s Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom goes way back with Moore. Their careers mirrored each other in many ways as both worked their way through the Rays’ organization. Bloom was just into the beginning of his career in the Rays’ front office when Tampa drafted Moore in the 2007 draft. Bloom was then the Assistant Director of Minor League Operations as Moore made his way through the organization. In 2011, Moore made his big league debut while Bloom was promoted to Director of Baseball Operations.